Photo Credit: Julia Perez
Brian Terrizzi grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio in an area with a large German population. As a child he was identified as Italian by his schoolmates. Maybe it was the vowel at the end of his name. He was curious about his heritage. He spent his Sundays with his grandparents. They loved to cook and eat special foods from Italy. They taught Brian about his Sicilian heritage in the kitchen and around the dinner table.
After graduating from college, Brian worked in the financial world in the San Francisco Bay area. While attending a party and enjoying local wines, he was offered a job to work harvest for the late award winning Zinfandel winemaker, Kent Rosenblum. Within days, Brian knew he wanted to be a winemaker, making wine from Italian grape varieties in the Italian style. After a brief time working at Rosenblum, he left for Italy to study the language, wine, cuisine and his roots. A few years later at Fresno State, Brian found the perfect partner in viticulture, wine and marriage. After graduation Stephanie and Brian moved to San Luis Obispo County and founded two wineries, Broadside and Giornata. Recently they developed a new business to pair with their wines, Etto Pastificio, a California Pasta Company featuring local foods and Italian specialties. Brian is known for his Italian variety wines, many made in clay amphorae, his research and love of all things Italian, his generosity in providing food to school lunch programs, and the local charity Loaves & Fishes with a total of 19,886 portions donated as of December 31, 2021. He is a leader, an entrepreneur, a winemaker, a dreamer and the father of twin daughters who share his love of the land and the family enterprises.
Impact on Wine History of San Luis Obispo County
- Sharing his love of all things Italian with those who live and visit San Luis Obispo County.
- Focus on growing and sourcing Italian grape varieties in San Luis Obispo County.
- Making wine in the classic Italian style with California grown Italian grape varieties.
- Research on specific regions in Italy on grape varieties, winemaking styles, equipment and Italian wines.
- One of the first winemakers to first import clay amphorae from Italy for fermentation and aging of his wines.
- Invited to pour Nebbiolo made in San Luis Obispo County in Italy at the Nebbiolo Festival. Giornata wine was well received. Brian was invited a second time.
- In 2010 Giornata’s Nebbiolo was featured as a winter pairing at the famous Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg and other top spots in California
- His ability to build lasting and productive relationships with local winemakers in San Luis Obispo County and multiple regions in Italy.
- First to produce Ramato wine in San Luis Obispo County in 2011
- Recognized nationally and internationally for his “flagship” Nebbiolo Wine.
- His skills as a chef provide the cuisine to pair with each Italian varietal.
- Famous for making “orange wines” in his expanding collection of clay amphorae primarily imported from Italy.
- One of the first winemakers to establish a winery in Tin City which has become a destination for handcrafted beers, ciders, fine wines and distilled spirits, ice cream, fine cuisine, and Italian pasta and goods sold at Etto Pastificio.
- Leadership in promoting and providing healthy meals for children attending schools in San Luis Obispo County.
- Founder and winemaker of Broadside Winery, a large commercial winery, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot, located in Paso Robles.
- Founder and winemaker of Giornata Winery, a small production winery focusing on high quality handcrafted Italian varietals made in the classic Italian style, located in Tin City.
- Famed Italian wine writer Ian D’agata flies Brian to Barolo to pour the Giornata wines for the Italian Press and winemaking community in 2019. First San Luis Obispo County winemaker to have this honor.
- Founding member of Etto Pacifico in 2019, an Italian market and pasta factory focusing on authenticity and healthy Italian foods, located in Tin City. It is the first California pasta factory in San Luis Obispo County.
- Philanthropist – donating almost 20,000 pasta portions made at Etto Pacifico in 2021.
- Starring Role in the award-winning documentary film, The Amphora Project – Past Forward – 8,000 Years of Winemaking in Clay Vessels, released by the Wine History Project in December 2022.
Brian Terrizzi in Tuscany 2003
Brian Terrizzi in Tuscany 2003
Falling in love with all things Italian in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Brain Terrizzi was identified as an Italian from an early age in the predominantly German neighborhood of Cincinnati. His grandparents lived in the same community and Brian spent much of his childhood with them on the weekends. Brian’s father, their son, was a member of the “second generation” that identified as an American. However, Brian’s grandparents loved to share their history and culture with their grandson. They had emigrated as children from Sicily to Ellis Island and New York City. His grandmother grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn and his father in Queens. They were proud to share the stories of several artists in the Terrizzi family – a sculptor who worked on the famous lions in front of the NYC Library and another from Italy who earned an Academy Award in Italy.
Brian was filled with questions about Italy and why his grandparents had left their country. His grandfather loved to eat Italian pastas and share the family history. Brian identifies his grandmother as “a world class cook” who prided herself on cooking a wonderful meal for the family every Sunday. She cooked Italian specialties but she also studied the cookbooks of Julia Child and made French recipes. Brian spent a lot of time with her, learning about methods of cooking and how to prepare her favorite recipes. He still has the collection of her old cookbooks with her notes and handwritten instructions on her methods of preparing her favorite dishes. Brian’s love of cooking and passion for food is his legacy from his grandparents. This love of all things Italian is a dominant theme in his life.
Brian was introduced to world class wines by his stepfather who had a cellar with a collection of around 8,000 wines. Brian was amazed by the size of the collection and his stepfather’s passion for collecting these wines. He had visited wine regions around the world and accumulated a large library of wine history books. So Brian read history and explored the wine cellar, discovering great vintages that dated back to the 1940s. These included wines from Burgundy, Italy and Bordeaux wines from Australia. Brian tasted many wines from around the world with his stepfather and friends. It was an invaluable experience in developing Brian’s palate, his knowledge of varietals and winemaking. Some wines had aged well and some had not. He developed strong preferences and studied his favorites in depth. He gravitated toward the Italian varietals after spending hours tasting the great wines and studying about them.
Brian’s mother continued to encourage his interest in Italian cuisine by providing him with a gift certificate for a week-long class at the Culinary Institute in Napa. He learned a great deal about the skills of a professional chef and renewed his passion for reading and researching the foods of various Italian regions.
The Move to San Francisco – from Finance to Harvest
Brian went west to Arizona and Colorado for college but his goal was to move to California after graduation. He began his career in the field of finance in Cincinnati. When his employer announced the possibility of a transfer to the San Francisco Bay area, Brian applied and was selected for the new position.
San Francisco provided beautiful views and great restaurants. It was also close to wine country so on the weekends Brian visited tasting rooms, and wineries in Napa, Sonoma and Anderson Valley. He developed friendships with people in the wine industry but the most important one was Jeff Cohen, the winemaker at the iconic Zinfandel producer Rosenblum Cellars. They met at a party one Saturday evening in 2002 and after a few glasses of wine and much conversation, Jeff suggested that Brian not just talk about his love of wine but take action. Jeff invited Brian to work the upcoming harvest for Rosenblum Cellars. Brian thought it over and decided to take the offer and resign from his job in finance.
The next two weeks left him breathless. He gave two weeks’ notice at work but his resignation was accepted immediately so he was out of a job. Jeff Cohen did not return Brian’s phone calls which became more stressful each day. So Brian decided to drive to Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda in search of Jeff and his new job. Jeff looked apologetic once he heard that Brian had resigned from the world of finance based on the Saturday night job offer. Jeff invited Brian to start work immediately. Brian describes the end of his first day of racking barrels and tasting wine, “I tasted all the wine. And you know, I did not spit it. I was feeling pretty good by the end of the day. I moved the wine from one tank to another. Wine was spilling all over. My clothes were covered with wine. I was dirty and tired. It was very physical and I really liked that about winemaking. I knew I wanted to become a winemaker on that first day. I also knew I wanted to focus on Italian varieties. My fellow workers laughed at me when I announced my dreams.”
The first trip to Florence
A few months later Brian made reservations to fly to Florence and enroll in an Italian language school. He wanted to learn as much about Italian wine and cuisine as possible but he had no contacts and did not speak Italian. He traveled alone on his journey which started with four weeks of language classes. He shared a large apartment with other students overlooking the Boboli Gardens. These gardens opened to the public in 1766 and were designed for the Medici family. Boboli Gardens is one of the first examples of Italian garden design which have inspired the gardens of many European courts.
After completing his language course, Brian found himself alone in the large Florence apartment. Brian rented a car and drove to Tuscany each day to visit one of more than 20 well-known wineries on his research list. He wanted to taste the wines and learn as much as possible from the viticulturalists and the winemakers in each vineyard. He decided to search for a job at one of these wineries although he knew it would be very difficult to find because of the high unemployment rate in Italy. However, one of the wineries at the top of his list, Paolo De Marchi, had a program that hired interns from America. Some famous American winemakers had worked there in the past. They had no openings that winter but he was told to stay in touch by email.
Brian returned to San Francisco and continued working at Rosenblum Cellars. He found his fellow workers more supportive of his dreams to make wines in California that were true to Italy – wines that Italians would be proud of. He wanted to find Italian varieties grown in California. Although there were many fine Italian restaurants in the Bay area, there were few Italian wines being produced locally.
When Brian got the offer from Paolo De Marchi for an internship, Rosenblum was supportive and allowed him to miss their local harvest in 2003 and to return to Isole e Olena in Tuscany to work the Paolo De Marchi harvest. Their Swiss winemaker spoke perfect English so Brian gained a depth of understanding of Italian winemaking that would make his dreams a reality. Brian states that with the balance and finesse in the wines he drank, his palate changed during that Italian internship. Brian realized the Italian winemakers focused more on complexity and balance rather than fruit and power. He spent his afternoons and evenings with colleagues who loved wine, visiting wineries and tasting, tasting, tasting.
Winemaking in Italy occurs in a very serious and disciplined environment. After hours in the quiet cellar, wines were tasted each afternoon, notes were taken and shared with co-workers. Group discussions followed, focusing on each wine in the tasting. The contrast is dramatic compared to his experience of winemaking at Rosenblum Cellars where loud rock music played all day long in a party-like atmosphere during long hours of the winemaking operation. Brian learned a great deal in both environments, but preferred the quiet and serious Italian style.
Brian brought a case of wine from California to share with his co-workers at Paolo De Marchi, The response to the tastings, “Are these the ones you drink for dessert over there?” Brian answered, “No, these are wines with a 94 point rating from Wine Spectator that Californians drink.” It was a defining moment for Brian. The Italians did not understand what Californian winemaking was all about. Brian again realized how important it was for him to make wines that Italians would be proud of. He also had another “aha” moment. “You know, I started drinking the great wines of Italy, and I worked for one of the great producers of Italy. But I really like the table wines of Italy.”
He shares the following insights about Italians and their wine. In Italy wine is not a cocktail, and it is not something you drink in large amounts with friends late into the evening. Most Italians do not buy expensive bottles of wine, they buy and drink wines by the glass to drink with food. Brian began to focus on table wines that Italians served at each meal. He began to understand that in Italy, wine is an essential part of every meal. In each of the twenty regions of Italy, Italian grape varieties and wines have developed in lockstep with the evolution of local cuisine over hundreds of years. The regions are diverse. Many were isolated from one another until Italy was unified as a country on March 17, 1861. The wine you drink with Tuscan wild boar ragu over pappardelle pasta is different from the wine you select to pair with Bistecca alla Fiorentina. You do not find Sangiovese in Piemonte, you drink Barbera and Barolo. You don’t find Nebbiolo in Tuscany, Sangiovese is the prominent grape.
Brian describes the differences between northern and southern Italy. In the north of Italy, the foods are lighter and more delicate. As you travel south, the cuisine becomes more robust. The flavors tend to be spicier and red sauces come into play. There is more lamb. Tomatoes play an important role in the food of Southern Italy. The wines served in the south are able to handle spice well. Brian has returned to Italy almost every year to study Italian viticulture, winemaking and cuisine. But it was not enough – he needed a formal education.
Next destination- Fresno State and a degree in Enology
Brian applied to Fresno State and was accepted into the Enology Department.
Among his many experiences shared with many of his classmates, was the winemaking in his own backyard in a small hand-crafted shed that held a few barrels. Brian was able to experiment with various grape varieties under his own roof. He first made Pinot Noir but it was his first barrel of Nebbiolo that changed his life.
Brian and his classmate, Stephanie Sorn, both joined the Enology Society and were both voted to be acquisitions officers. They worked together to reach out to alumni to ask for a donation of four bottles of wine for the Thursday night tasting for members. They gradually became study partners and best friends. Stephanie recalls studying for a biochem final at Brian’s home. She said Brian cooked dinner, served with a bottle of wine ….. and it’s all history from there. They fell in love enjoying Italian cuisine, drinking Italian wine, studying together and yes, starting their life together.
Early in 2005 Stephy and Brian became engaged to be married and took their first trip to Italy to celebrate in January. The first few days were spent eating and tasting wines before going on to Spain for a wonderful vacation. Their dream was to move to Italy after graduation and work for a while.
However, “real life” created another path for them. 2005 was the year of a series of landmark and life changing events: they married, Stephanie became pregnant with twins, they made the decision to start their own winery, they selected the name Giornata for their new enterprise, and traveled through California to determine where they should settle down and buy land. Stephanie started to research Italian grape varieties and current clones. They harvested Nebbiolo grapes grown in Paso Robles by a generous couple who had no buyers. Brian made his first barrel of Nebbiolo in a backyard shed in Fresno. They became the parents of twin girls on November 17th, and both graduated Fresno State, Stephanie in Viticulture in June and Brian in Enology in December.
Moving to San Luis Obispo County 2006 – Broadside and Giornata
Brian was born an entrepreneur. One either has the skill and vision in one’s DNA or not! It is not a talent one can learn, it is a personality that is visionary and fearless. After graduating, Brian continued working at Sam’s Italian Deli, establishing Nicks’ Wine Corner in Fresno. He also started working for Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, a wine distributor. Brian made important contacts in the wine industry and developed relationships with restaurants and retailers. At the time, the best selling wine was Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay was in second place.
His day job made it possible for Brian and Stephy to found Giornata in 2006 as a small producer ultimately making classic Italian wines including Sangiovese, Aglianico, Barbera, Vermentino, Fiano, Ramato, Gemellaia, and his flagship, Nebbiolo in the Italian style. His first vintage included his barrel of Nebbiolo made in the shed in his yard in Fresno.
While they were still students at Fresno State, Stephanie started searching for the recent clones of Nebbiolo that had been released in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She found them at the Novavine Nursery in Santa Rosa. She was familiar with the nursery because she had visited on field trips while taking wine classes in Santa Rosa before she met Brian. Stephanie asked how many growers had purchased the new vines. The response was surprising. Novavine Nursery had sold the vines to only four growers in California. Stephanie found only one of the four growers, who happened to own a vineyard in Paso Robles, eager to meet with her. The outcome of the meeting was even more surprising and life changing. Stephanie was offered the job to manage the Luna Matta vineyard which was growing Nebbiolo. Stephanie and Brian decided to move to Paso Robles.
Brian started a business with a partner called Broadside Winery, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. Both men had also established their own small wineries. Broadside provided the capital necessary for each to fund their own small ventures. Brian sourced the grapes from outstanding vineyards and growers in San Luis Obispo County. Both Broadside and Giornata wines were released in 2008. The following year Broadside was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Broadside was a business with potential to grow the production and sales. Brian learned how to deal with financial institutions to finance each vintage and increase production. He developed the skills to build and expand a business and a brand. The Broadside Winery partnership was very successful. Demand exceeded production, and wine writers praised their wine. The partners even made the front page of the New York Times. However, as the business rapidly grew in scale, financing became more difficult; Brian and Stephanie were running out of money. They made the business decision to sell their majority interest to the Wine Hooligans in 2014, retaining a minority interest. They took on the challenge of marketing the wines. The next three years Stephanie and Brian rarely saw one another. Brian and Stephanie took turns traveling continually to promote Broadside Wines from 2015 to 2018.
Brian realized that owning a large winery was not his dream. It was a remarkable learning experience in management and finance. Brian’s dream was now focused on developing Giornata and learning more about Italian viticulture and wine. There was also a dream about developing a pasta company lurking in the background.
Giornata meaning “a day’s work”, is an Italian term used in the art world to describe how much painting can be completed in a single day when applying paint on wet plaster to create a portion of a Buon fresco mural. We all know it takes many a “Giornata” to create handcrafted wines. It starts in the vineyard. This became Stephanie’s responsibility.
Stephanie Terrizzi makes certain that each grape variety is harvested at the right maturity. She tends to pick early at low sugar levels. Brian describes, “What we are doing with Giornata is trying to focus on the purity and authenticity of what’s grown here in California with minimal intervention. I use the same equipment – pumps, barrels and tanks – and the same winemaking techniques as they do in Italy.”
When Brian started Giornata, he knew it would take years to develop a successful brand. He was committed to a small production of around a couple thousand cases annually. The main obstacle was access to Italian grape varieties grown locally. The wines he planned to produce were not familiar to the public. Brian and Stephanie had much to learn and they would travel almost every year to Italy to research both viticulture and winemaking. Today the wines are hand-made and compliment specific Italian dishes and a variety of cuisines. Some years there are at least 17 varietals produced. The first vintages were produced at Wood Winery with Mike Sinor at the foot of the Cuesta Grade. The second and third vintages were produced at Villa Creek Winery on Adelaida Road next door to the Luna Matta Vineyard. In 2009 Brian moved production to the Edna Valley at Corbett Canyon Winery.
In 2010 Giornata’s Nebbiolo was featured as a winter pairing at the famous Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg and other top spots in California.
2011 was a cool vintage which was perfect for creating the balanced wines that both Broadside and Giornata wanted to produce. This was the year that Brian and Stephanie confirmed that increasing yields, shading the berries and picking at lower sugars were the keys to making the best wines. This was also the year that Brian produced their first “Orange Wine” sourcing Pinot Grigio grapes from grower and winemaker Mike Sinor. Brian realized it was time to move to a larger facility and open their own tasting room. The new “center of interest” was located just south of Paso Robles in an intriguing industrial park which was created for a community of “wildly independent artisans” who make unique wines, brew ciders, craft beers, and small batch spirits. It is known as Tin City. It includes the Tin Canteen serving casual salad and pizzas a few doors from SIX Test Kitchen, our first Michelin Star restaurant in San Luis Obispo County.
Giornata moved to Tin City in 2012. It would take two more years for it to become a tourist destination. In December 2016 wine writer Ester Mobley wrote an article for the San Francisco Chronicle called Winemakers to Watch, focused on Stephanie and Brian at Giornata.
The red wines are pure, balanced and are expressive statements of place.
They include his flagship Nebbiolo and Barbera primarily associated with the Piedmont region. Sangiovese derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis (“the blood of Jupiter”). It is the grape of Central Italy, the most widespread grown in Tuscany. Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Aglianico are considered the three greatest Italian red grape varieties. Aglianico is a red grape grown in the warm southern regions of Italy, in Campania and Basilicata.
Brian has been recognized internationally and nationally for his Nebbiolo. According to Jon Bonne, author of The New California Wine, “They chose Nebbiolo as their holy grail – usually a foolhardy decision in California, but they perhaps have accomplished making the most successful Nebbiolo yet in the state.” John Gilman, author of View From the Cellar, says, “I was absolutely enthralled by the quality of the very classically styled Nebbiolo. Aglianico and other bottlings. Clearly the finest Nebbiolo I have tasted outside of Barolo or Barbaresco.” In 2009 Brian and Stephanie were invited to pour their Nebbiolo in Italy at the Nebbiolo Grape Festival.
Montepulciano is a dark purple grape widely planted in central and southern Italy in Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Molise, Umbria and Puglia and is known for ripening late in the fall. Brian’s philosophy has been to create wines from Italian grapes grown in California using the sensibility and commitment to the philosophy of the great Italian winemakers. His focus is on wine to be paired with food, table wines to be enjoyed and found on the dinner table. The wines are subtle and more balanced than traditional California wines. The grapes are picked early at lower sugar levels. There is ample acidity and tannin.
The white wines are basket pressed to stainless tanks, followed by native fermentation. Fiano is a white Italian wine grape grown mainly in Campania. On Brian’s first trip to Italy he traveled to Sicily to meet his cousins. Although they are not winemakers, they live in the city where the Romans were world famous for winemaking. Vermentino is an amber yellow Italian grape planted in both Sardinia and Liguria. It is less common in Corsica and Langue-Roussillon.
Fatto a Mano Wines – aged in clay using ancient winemaking techniques
This unique group, Fatto a Mano Wines, is known for handmade orange wines. They are fermented and aged in clay amphora. Brian explains, “About fifteen years ago, I started reading about the ancient technique of making wine in Italian amphorae. I thought it was a fascinating way to make wine.” Around the year 2000, a group of winemakers in Italy decided to learn more about fermenting and aging wine in handcrafted clay amphorae made by artists who had been creating pottery for landscapes and gardens for centuries. The ancient Etruscans were known for their clay vessels for storing and transporting olive oil and wine. They can be seen in museums in Tuscany and near Rome.
Brian tasted several of these new Italian white wines made in amphorae. He describes them as different, unique and unusual, unlike the colorless Pinot Grigio made in stainless tanks. When you drink these amphora wines, you are tasting the true essence of the grape. The amphora is made from clay and fired in a kiln at around 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The porous material allows for an exchange of oxygen and movement of the wine throughout the amphora during fermentation.
Traditionally white grapes are pressed immediately after harvest and moved into the tank within hours which eliminates flavors from the skins permeating the juice. Most people do not realize that the flavor compounds are in the skin of the grape. In the amphora the grapes ferment with the skins so the flavor of the juice is unlike any you have tasted in traditional winemaking. The diversity of the white wine grapes and their flavors increases exponentially. The flavor becomes more intense the longer the grapes are fermented on their skins. The other astonishing result is the range of color produced by fermenting white grapes on the skins. The colored pigment is found in the skin also. We expect Pinot Grigio wine we have been drinking for years to be almost colorless. If the Pinot Grigio grapes are fermented on their skins in an amphora the color will range from pink to copper. Other white grape varieties produce an orange or amber colored wine. All of the white wines fermented on their skins are commonly referred to as orange or amber wines.
Brian produced his first orange wine in the Italian style in 2011, using Pinot Grigio grapes sourced from the Bassi Vineyard owned by Mike Sinor. Brian used the traditional name, Ramato, which refers to a distinct Italian farmhouse wine style using Pinot Grigio grapes. They are crushed and fermented on their skins which creates a tactile texture, unique flavor and coppery hue. The Italian word “rame” means copper. It may look like a rosé but it is not a rosé. The distinguishing feature of Ramato is that it’s made with a historical winemaking style using Pinot Grigio grapes that developed in the Friuli region of Italy. This winemaking style has spread to other regions of Italy and has recently emerged at a few wineries in California. It is often paired with prosciutto, crustaceans, white meats and various Asian cuisines.
The assortment of Fatto a Mano wines include Fiano a Mano, Falanghina, Bianco Estate, Grenache Moscato and a Rosé. Every part of the process is done by hand. They bottle by hand with the help of gravity and label and cork by hand too.
Falanghina is grown in southern Italy. The skins contain an orange pigment which creates a vivid orange colored wine with a distinctive character. It is cultivated on the coast of Campania, just north of Naples. The name derives from the Latin falagae which refers to stakes for supporting grapes in the vineyard. It was recognized as a varietal in the United States in 2014. Fiano is a white grape also grown in Campania. It was first mentioned in the 13th Century. Its traditional name, Vitis apiana, means “the vine beloved of the bees.”
Brian ordered his amphorae in 2011 to be shipped directly to Paso Robles from Italy in 2010. He shared a container with neighbor Phillip Hart, founder of AmByth Estate, who established a relationship with an amphorae maker located near Florence. Brian continues to purchase additional amphorae over the years. In 2022, Brian plans to experiment with additional varieties using amphora in the winemaking process.
His success as a winemaker was celebrated in 2019 when famed Italian wine writer Ian D’agata flew Brian to Barolo to pour Giornata wines for the Italian Press and the winemaking community.
During 2022, Giornata will release around 20 wines. Production ranges from only 35 cases for some handmade wines to 500 cases per varietal. The total annual production will remain in the range of 4,000 to 5,000 cases per year. Each year will be different depending on the fall grape harvest.
The club members and guests who visit the tasting room are excited about the natural, biodynamic and unique wines. Brian’s experimentation and the fresh new wines they are tasting creates a sense of excitement which is shared with others. The experience and the education continue to enrich our community.
The Etto Italian Market and the Pasta Factory.
Brian’s Italian heritage and Stephanie’s love of all things Italian led to establishing an Italian market with local organic meats, olive oils, vinegars, and produce as well imported products. Brian had dreamed of having a fresh pasta maker in the middle of the store making an assortment of varieties in front of the audience. It all came together in 2019. The market with the Italian pasta equipment and the resident pasta maker, who makes over 20 shapes of organic pasta, opened in Tin City. Brian added fresh baked bread, many cheeses, and homemade ragu and marinara. along with charcuterie. The name of the market is Etto Pastificio. You can shop on their website and browse all the items available. Of course Giornata Wines are also available.
Pasta is the daily food in Italy. The varieties and shapes of pasta define local and regional identities in Italy. Each has its own story of the region. The word “ETTO “ refers to a sensible portion as a first course or as part of a balanced meal. “ETTO” equals 100 grams or about ¼ pound. Italy ranks as the healthiest nation in the world according to the 2017 Bloomberg Global Health Index. Brian estimates that over 5,000 local San Luis Obispo County residents eat Etto pasta each week. In addition Brian delivers all sorts of pasta and his homemade ramen noodles to dozens of local restaurants each week.
To improve the health of local children in school in San Luis Obispo County, Brian is working with the Director of Food Services and her team at SLO Coastal Schools to provide pasta for school lunches. He started years ago providing children with a pasta lunch at the Montessori School his daughters were attending. He expanded to local Catholic Schools and then to the public schools in San Luis Obispo. Today Etto has not one but an entire staff of pasta makers. This is the business that Brian will continue to grow (scale up as he says) to bring all things Italian with a focus on good health to San Luis Obispo County. I should add as Brian would: Italian wisdom, American ingredients, California ingenuity.
COVID produced unique challenges for the market and pasta factory in working in small spaces in Tin City. Etto Market and Pasta Factory remained open during the pandemic. In addition to serving loyal customers, Brian and his staff increased production and were able to donate almost 20,000 portions of pasta to those in need.
Brian, Stephanie, Aida and Kate November 2005
1969: Brian Terrizzi is born in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 7th.
1987: High School Graduation at Walnut Hills in Cincinnati
Interests growing up: Music, parties, sports,. wine and Italian food.
1989: Enrolls at Fort Lewis College – Durango, Colorado
Major: Psychology/ Snowboarding
1993: Graduation from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado
1994: Works in Finance and startups in Cincinnati and San Francisco.
2002: Resigns from job in finance to work the harvest at award winning Kent Rosenblum Cellars. Brian’s memories of Kent’s winery “as a wild and wooly environment including parties, long hours, rock music blaring all day long”. Decides to become a winemaker.
2003: Travels to Florence to attend Italian language school for four weeks. Travels another four weeks through Tuscany to Sicily, visiting each of 20 well known wine cellars on his list. Traveling to Italy changes the direction of his life and his winemaking style. He finds Italian winemaking very disciplined. “You taste everything each day, you make notes, you sit down and talk about each wine. Working in Italy changed everything for me.
2003: Receives offer of internship with Paolo De Marchi at Isole e Olena in Tuscany. Paolo is one of the first winemakers in Tuscany to make wines with pure Sangiovese which will become known as some of the first Super-Tuscan wines.
2003: Visits family in Sicily and reconnects with distant relatives in a small town which has been famous for winemaking since the dawn of the Roman empire, Monforte San Giorgio.
2003: Enrolls in Fresno State in California to study Enology. He meets fellow classmate Stephanie Sorn who is studying Viticulture.
2005: Brian makes his first barrel of Nebbiolo for what will become Giornata (not released) in a backyard shed in Fresno after harvesting the grapes with Stephanie in the Luna Matta Vineyard, located in Paso Robles.
2005: Marries classmate and love of his life, Stephanie Sorn.
2005: Plan their first trip to Italy together, visiting top producers in Italy and relaxing in Spain.
2005: Stephanie graduates Fresno State in June.
2005: Brian worked harvest with Chris King at Red Car at Central Coast Wine Services (CCWS) in Santa Maria.
2005: Aida and Kate, twin daughters, born to Stephanie and Brian in November.
2005: Brian graduates from Fresno State in Enology in December.
2006: Brian continues to work at Sam’s Italian Deli, establishing
Nick’s Wine Corner.
2006: Brian is hired by Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, wine distributors.
2006: Brian and Stephanie found Giornata Wine, a small operation making Italian-style wines including Sangiovese, Aglianico, Barbera, Vermentino, Fiano, Ramato, Gemellaia, Nebbiolo, blends and other Italian varietals.
2006: Stephanie is hired by Luna Matta Vineyard in Paso Robles
as the vineyard manager.
2006: The Terrizzi family moves to Paso Robles. Stephanie immediately begins working in the vineyards focusing on bio-organic viticulture.
According to Jon Bonne (accent on e), author of The New California Wine, A Guide to Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste, states that “Stephanie has become the area’s great alternative vineyardist.” Stephanie mentored many growers on organic and sustainable agriculture farming and obtaining certifications.
2006: Brian produces his first vintage Giornata Wine: two barrels of Nebbiolo, three barrels of Sangiovese and one barrel of Aglianico-Syrah blend from Luna Matta Vineyard with Mike Sinor at Wild Wood Vineyard and Winery at the foot of the Cuesta Grade in San Luis Obispo.
2006: Broadside Winery is founded by Brian and Stephanie with Brian as winemaker. Broadside is a Paso Robles based producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.
2006: Broadside Cellars first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon wassourced from the Margarita Vineyard.
2007: Giornata Wine moves its production to Villa Creek in Paso right next to Luna Matta Vineyard. They will be there for two years before outgrowing the space.
2008: Giornata and Broadside both release their first wines.
Broadside wine is served by many successful California restaurants as a wine that “over delivers” in quality during the national recession.
2009: Broadside is featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times and many other publications as a wine that is great for the price.
2009: Broadside and Giornata wine production is moved to the old Corbett Canyon facility in Edna Valley. Giornata hires their first part-time employee.
2009: Giornata is invited to pour their wine in Italy at the Nebbiolo Grapes festival.
2010: Giornata’s Nebbiolo is featured as a winter pairing at the famous Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg and other top spots around California. Broadside sales increase with gains in distribution in most big markets and a few good ones for Giornata as well.
2011: This cool vintage is perfect for the balanced wines Broadside and Giornata are producing. Brian and Stephy understand how increasing yields, shading berries and picking at lower sugars are improving their wines.
2011: Brian purchases hand-crafted Italian amphorae and studies winemaking using ancient techniques and fermenting in amphorae. Giornata produces its first “Orange wine” known as Ramado with Pinot Grigio grapes sourced from Mike Sinor’s Bassi Ranch in Avila.
2012: Giornata moves to Tin City into their own facility right next to Field recordings. There were no winery signs and only a couple visitors a month.
2013: Giornata makes wine and Stephy and Brian run out of money as Broadside grows too fast.
2014: Tin City gets its official name and starts to become a tourist destination. Broadside is sold to the Wine Hooligans after about one year of negotiation.
2015: Brian and Stephy hit the road to promote Broadside wines and for the next three years, rarely see each other.
2016: Ester Mobley writes an article in the San Francisco Chronicle – Winemakers to Watch – which focuses on Giornata Wine on December 16.
2017: Other wine critics start to review and give praise for Giornata Wines.
2018: Broadside travel obligations decrease, life returns to normal. Brian begins to research and develop his business plan to open an Italian Market with an organic fresh pasta making operation in the store. He selects the name Etto Pacificio referring to the size of a standard pasta serving in Italy.
2019: Opening of Etto Italian Market and Pasta Factory. Brian’s Italian heritage and Stephanie’s love of all things Italian led to establishing a food business in Tin City called Etto in 2019. The past maker who handcrafts over 20 shapes of pasta is the center attraction. Pasta is sold both fresh and dried, surrounded by Italian imports and local olive oils, vinegars, cheeses, breads and produce. Organic meats, homemade ragu and marinara are available. Brian delivers all sorts of pastas and ramen noodles to local restaurants weekly. Giornata wines are also sold in the market. Brian estimates that over 5,000 locals eat Etto pasta each week.
2019: Brian and Stephanie are inspired by being part of the local food community and are proud to be working with the Montessori School, the Catholic Schools and the Director of Food Services and her team at SLO Coastal Schools to provide healthy lunches for school children.
2019: Famed Italian wine writer Ian D’agata flies Brian to Barolo to pour the Giornata wines for the Italian Press and winemaking community.
2020: Coronavirus Pandemic – Etto stays open as a grocery store and struggles to keep up with the demand as a pasta shortage grips the world. He starts donating pasta to provide meals for those who are in need and for school children throughout the county.
2021: Brian and Stephanie join the The Amphora Project founded by the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County to celebrate the 15 local winemakers who produce wine using amphorae during fermentation and/or storage and are filmed for an upcoming documentary on 6,000 Years of Winemaking in Clay Vessels.
2021: Brian and Stephanie are featured in an Exhibit created by the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County at the Wine Gallery at the Paso Robles History Museum which opens on October 16, 2021.
2021: Friends and Winemakers celebrate and mourn the last harvest at Luna Matta Vineyard. The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County documents the event and posts a short documentary, The Last Harvest of Luna Matta Vineyard.
2021: New releases at Giornata
2022: Brian and Stephanie travel to Sicily with their twin daughters for rest and relaxation and research and development.